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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  November 29, 2012 11:00am-1:00pm PST

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they fear the babies could be the next victims. >> this is gruesome, really. somebody who's deranged, not going to stop. >> reporter: the race is on to catch a dolphin killer before he strikes again. ed lavandera, cnn, gulfport, mississippi. >> sad story. cnn "newsroom" continues with don lemon. hi, don. >> thank you very much. i'm don relon live from new york this afternoon. developing right now in syria, damascus international airport shut down. flights in and out are canceled. fierce fighting closed off the main road to the airport. these clashes happening as the country's internet goes dark and cell phone communication drops out. it's harder to post videos like this one. reportedly showing shelling in aleppo uploaded earlier today. in the past, the syrian government cut off access in an operation. but this is unprecedented. the military jet and two helicopters were shot down by
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rebels. now, takeovers at military bases given them a new arsenal of heavy weaponry. in this attack, they used rockets and as cnn's arwa damon reports, the rebels claiming this as a major victory. >> reporter: children on the back of a tractor made off with a sizable tangled lump of metal. what was all too often the cause of nightmares now a trophy of war. proudly shown off by this man. we want to take these pieces to show them to the other villages, he says. let them see what happened to these planes. everyone we speak to here describes the fear they felt any time they heard a jet overhead. for them, this is the greatest victory. one man who we spoke to said he was picking olives, saw the plane being hit and the two pilots ejecting. he says at that point everyone fanned out looking for them.
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he and others are telling us that one pilot was found unconscious with a head injury. video posted to youtube shows a man in military uniform seemingly unconscious being carried away. as a man offcamera states, here is the pilot who was shelling the houses of civilians. another clip is of him in a makeshift field clinic. head bandages, a voice says, this is the fate of your pilots, assad. this is not an isolated incident. in the same vicinity close to the city in a span of 24 hours rebels claim they not only brought down this fighter jet, but also, two helicopters. video posted to youtube shows a trail of smoke and a helicopter bursting in to flames but there's no way for us to confirm when and where this happened. these dramatic developments are a result of a pitched battle
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fought here at the 46 regiment base just over a week ago. for nearly two months hassan tells us they laid siege to the base after clearing the villages around it of assad's forces and positioning rebel snipers in the area. the final battle to take this massive base lasted 24 hours chls rebel fighters used artillery captured of another unit on the base firing in it to the building and ending the battle. for this rebel unit, there was a treasure trove of weaponry and most important of all, anti-aircraft missiles, hurgss of them. though not all functioning the fighters tell us. video posted to youtube right after the assault took place shows stacks of metal boxes packed with soviet era anti-aircraft missiles. the regime still has the military advantage thanks to the sheer size of its arsenal.
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but the balance it seems may have ever so slightly shifted. arwa damon, cnn, aleppo providence. >> we'll go live to arwa damon inside syria in a moment. but first, this. time to talk politics here. the united states. no cameras, no reporters. just two men meeting for the first time since fighting a bruising campaign against each other. president obama and mitt romney just wrapped up lunch in the private dining room at the white house. i want you to watch closely because we caught romney's arrival and there's romney. leaving the white house. about 20 minutes ago. the president first mentioned plans to meet with romney in the election night vingt ri speech talking about it again in the first post-election news conference. >> there may be ideas that he has with respect to jobs and growth that can help middle class families that i want to hear so, you know, i'm not
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either prejudging what he's interested in doing nor am i suggesting i've got some specific assignment but what i want to do is get ideas from him and see if there's some ways that we can potentially work together. >> that sounds all well and good and adult, doesn't it, candy crowley? our political correspondent. and anchor of cnn's "state of the union." oh, to be a fly on the wall at that meeting. >> i know. >> lasted an hour and a half? >> yeah, yeah. >> do you think it was more of a bury the hatchet or a courtesy call-type of meeting more than substance? >> first of all, i think it's too early to bury the hatchet. these things take a little time. they poured a lot in to this campaign. not the nicest we have had and not the nastiest we have had but nonetheless we know from history these things take time to bury the hatchet n. ternls of what i think this was, there is now some history of presidents
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meeting those that they beat. it's happened before and a bit of a ritual. and i think, you know, even though i -- look. maybe something will come out of it. i have no idea. but i think more than that, this is a meeting for meeting's sake and the sake itself is a good one. this is about democracy. right? here's this -- i think we'll get a picture from the white house. here are the two of them having lunch together. this is about civility. this is about the civility of democracy and i think in and of itself that's plenty and i don't expect much more. >> well, at least we tried. at least we try. that's what they can say. listen. you were on the stage with these men face to face. you got to see them react when you moderated the second presidential debate. are there any points where these two could, could come together maybe, a meeting of the minds on anything or ideological differences too wide here? >> no.
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there's always some place that people can come together. but what do they both mention on election night? we both love america and want the best for america. so that's where the commonality here is in a democracy. and i didn't mean to suggest that it was -- i mean, i think that it's important for democracy to see this picture. but where can they meet? i mean, the president talking about does he have any ideas for the middle class? >> i think probably he heard most of them while on the campaign trail and the president rejected all of them so i'm not sure you will see a lot of brainstorming come out of this. we have seen some democrats say they sort of liked mitt romney's idea about having a cap on deductions for the wealthy. that maybe there was something to that. i mean, so maybe there's some specifics but i just think that was about the feel of it. i think this was about, you know, kind of putting that period on democracy which is sort of ending with a swearing-in ceremony in january and i don't think we should expect much more and i think it's plenty. >> well said.
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candy crowley, as always, thank you very much. >> thanks, don. >> appreciate it. you know what? don't blink or you'll miss tim geithner today on capitol hill. here he comes. riding in back taking the wheel of talks to avert the january tax hike. that's a senate side of the capitol. here's treasury secretary geithner emerging in to the shadows. there he is right there. about to pay a call on house speaker john boehner. speaker boehner a key republican and after his meeting with geithner this morning, boehner said these urgent talks haven't moved forward in two weeks. keep in mind, they need to get it done by january 1st and here's boehner getting grumpy with cnn's kate baldwin. take a look. >> to this point, most -- most public statements have been optimistic, confident, hopeful. we're all sensing a very different tone from you right now. are you walking away from talks? have things completely broken down, mr. speaker? >> no, no, no. stop.
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i got to tell you. i'm disappointed in where we are and disappointed in what's happened over the last couple of weeks. but going over the fiscal cliff is serious business. and i'm here seriously trying to resolve it. and i would hope the white house would get serious, as well. >> all right. so once again, here are the cliff notes right here. republicans on the hill are demanding trillions of dollars worth of debt reduction. that's pretty much fine with democrats who say the wealthy should foot the bill in the form of higher tax rates. and therein lies the catch because the republicans want the savings of federal spending cuts. that dispute blocking efforts to keep rates from rising on everyone. as scheduled on january 1st. this is a so-called fiscal cliff. january 1st. our news makers representative jim clyburn of south carolina, number three democrat in the house of representatives and number one i'm sure to a lot of
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people. hello. how are you? >> hey, don. thank you so much for having me. >> thanks for coming on. is speaker boehner right, though? as the clock is ticking, ticking toward january 1st, the talks haven't progressed in two weeks. is he right? >> well, i don't know that i'm as disappointed as the speaker is right now. i understand some of his problem with this. but the fact of the matter is the american people ended elections on november 6th, voiced their approval of president obama's approach to this. over 3 million more people voted for him than voted for mr. romney. and then if you look at house democr democrats. only 201 of us got eelected. that means the rest were republicans. >> i understand that. >> but over 500,000 more votes
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than they got -- >> with all due respect, representative, we understand that the president won and you feel that democrats won. but is the speaker right? has progress been nil on the talks for two weeks? >> well, i don't know what's been happening for two weeks. i have not been in the meetings. i do know this. when we passed the budget control act, we cut $1.5 trillion. all cuts. another savings of another $200 billion, 1.7 billion coming from cuts. now, it seems to me that if revenue is going to be on the table, let's put revenue on the table. the senate has passed a plan and sent it over to the house. let's vote on it. it provides for middle class tax cut. let's have that middle class tax cut and then let's debate the other issues later on. >> okay. >> this time of year. >> representative, we have
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gotten word today -- i don't mean to cut you off. there's a bit of a delay here. i think this is important. >> sure. >> we have word today that the president spoke with speaker boehner last night by phone. jessica yellin is reporting that the president told boehner flat-out no deal without higher tax rates of tn wealthy. would that be the first time in your knowledge that the president has stated that to boehner as his absolute bottom line? >> well, i don't know what may have gone on between the president and mr. boehner because i had they discussions over the last weekend, as well. but i know exactly what he said during the campaign. and i'm sure mr. boehner heard those comments as well as i heard them. and that is, we must ask the wealthy to pay a little more so we can get these deficit eliminated. get our debt paid down and start growing the economy again. that's not unusual or new to any
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of us. nobody in the country. so i think the president is sticking to what he said throughout the campaign and as i said 3 million more people voted for him than voted for the other guy. >> with that said, on taxes, if there's any chance on your side, is there any chance on your side to come down to the form of a smaller tax hike on incomes above $250,000 or would you consider keeping rate it is same at $250,000 and raising them only on higher incomes, say half a million or $1 million a year? >> i think it's all part of the negotiations. we know where the president is and that is 250,000. but there are a lot of democrats who voiced back before the campaign 500,000, some say even a million. all of that is going to be negotiated. the president wants 250. if mr. boehner wants to come and offer something different, i'm sure he will do that. but the president stands at 250.
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which is below even where i was but he won the election. so i'm going to respond to the president though it's a number diffent from the one that i had in mind before we had the elections. >> all right. representative, once again, sorry about the delay and thank you very much for joining us, representative james clyburn. >> thank you so much for having me. >> all right. and speaking of capitol hill, right now, a congresswoman introduced a resolution targeting those conversion therapies to turn young gay people straight. she'll join me next. plus, as egypt's president comes under fire, president morsi speaks out about president obama. speaking live with someone that just interviewed morsi, don't miss this.
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shopping for medicare coverage? don't wait. open enrollment ends december 7th. now's the time to take action. call unitedhealthcare today. now to egypt. several new developments today. first off, dmon straights prompted the u.s. to shut down the embassy there. the embassy was not under fire but clashes between protesters and riot police clogged streets around the complex. this chaos is going on for days as demonstrators threatened the new islamic president morsi with a second revolution. and then there's this.
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lawmakers dominated by islamists are now rushing to draft a new constitution. this move is seen by some of morsi's critics as an effort by the muslim brotherhood to hijack the constitution. and amid all of this, president morsi is on the cover of "time" magazine. "time" calls him the most important man in the middle east and boasts an exclusive interview credited with getting israel and gaza to end fighting. let's bring in the "time" bureau chief and got the interview and joins us from tel aviv. thank you for joining us and why is morsi the most important man in the middle east? >> well, for a couple of reasons. i mean, one he is just sort of central to, you know, the sort of what they call a new sunni axis of influence. sort of powerful country is
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counterweight to iran emerging, you know, thinking of qatar in the gulf and turkey, certainly. egypt is just always been. it's the largest most populace county and the sort of anchor. if you're the president of egypt, you should be the most important person in the middle east and the circumstances also favoring morsi and the other reason is because he holds the sort of future of egypt in his hands right now and another revolution with what he does in the coming couple of months. >> carl, i thought it was interesting you spoke with him about his relationship with president obama. and he seems to think it's a good one. >> yeah. they -- you know, there was some rough spots. he was in new york. he was in america for the u.n. general assembly in september and i think wanted to come down and meet the president. and wasn't invited or that
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didn't happen. and then, you recall when the -- when that film that scurrilous film was made and attacks on the embassy in cairo and he was not quick to condemn the attacks and president obama let him know that the alliance was actually in question over that. but they seem to have gotten along very well over the efforts to combined effort to end the gaza conflict and we're on the phone a lot and both sides say, you know, achieved some sort of rappaport. >> thank you very much. and just in, we're getting word the army private accused of leaking secrets to wick leaks is right now on the stand testifying in his defense. that's next. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones.
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♪ [ male announcer ] while you're getting ready for the holidays, we're getting ready for you. tis the season. for food, for family, and now, something extra -- for you. happening now in fort meade, maryland, u.s. army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of u.s. secrets online has taken the stand now. there have been tremendous speculation on whether private first class bradley manning
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would testify in his court-martial pretrial hearing this week. he is testifying about the alleged abuse and no word on whether he'll plead guilty to the charges including seven counts of leaking classified materials. if found guilty he would face a maximum of 16 years in prison. in syria, could the end game be near? rebels and the regime fighting for damascus airport as the internet goes dark. arwa damon is there right now. i'll speak with her. is is new b. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. new bayer migraine formula. with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme.
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and glory as a young and very talented gymnast but his desire to be perfect ultimately led him down a dark path in to substance abuse. cnn's dr. sanjay gupta has his story in this week's "human factor." >> i started gymnastics when i was 9 years ode and watching the 1984 olympics and it spoke to me as if it was like broadcasted directly to me. and i immediately took the cushions off the couch and started flipping around. >> reporter: joseph got serious after that. at the olympic training center two years later, he realized he had a natural gift but the need to perform perfectly took over his life. >> for me, it kind of became a darkness that i have to be perfect. >> reporter: that's where the downward spiral began. >> i had my first drink and all that desire for me to be perfect and to be the best was just washed away in the moment.
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>> reporter: within months, things got worse. >> i was drinking and using prescription drugs and a lot of cocaine. and it was that thing where i came to a cross roads where it was like i can't use and perform so something's got to go. one of the worst moments of my entire life which i'll never forget is actually calling the coach up and quitting. because it's like you're giving back your gift. >> reporter: alcohol, pills and cocaine led joe to heroin. in 2007 after several failed stints in rehab and overdoses, recovery final stuck. >> 27 years old. i hadn't done a hand stand in almost ten years. i started to do hand stands and the splits and more sobriety i maintained, the more this like light i call it. i don't know what else to say called me in a better direction.
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>> reporter: joe honed his body and mind and started to work on broadway as a dancer but it was a chance meeting with a producer that changed his life forever. >> he saw something in me that was sort of inspiring and brought hope. >> reporter: today, three years after that chance encounter, five years of sobriety, joe is starring at the krystal man in the touring show "totem". >> it's a spark of change. some of the darkest of men carries the brightest of lights. >> reporter: while he says his addiction will never disappear, he is living a life he thought he lost forever. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, reporting. >> thank you. be sure to watch on saturday at 4:30 p.m. eastern and sunday at 7:30 a.m. eastern.
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hello, everyone. bottom of the hour. i'm don lemon live in new york today but in syria fierce clashes going on right now near the damascus international airport. the airport itself is shut down. a main road in to the airport closed off. flights in and out canceled. this fighting going on as the country's internet goes dark. in the past, syrian government cut off access in major operations but a nationwide blackout is unpress departmented and syrian military jet and two helicopters were not down by rebels. opposition fighters claiming a major victory. arwa damon is in northern syria and joins us now by phone. what is the latest on the fighting near the damascus airport? are the rebels making any progress? >> reporter: well, on the airport road it's difficult to tell from the vantage point that we have right now because like much of the country we were, i am, have no power. no cell phone connection.
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i'm talking to you on a satellite phone. the land lines is out and no internet but we have been able to learn is at least according to the government is it has the airport under control and there was fighting along that vital artery leading from the capital to the international airport. just one of many indications of the amount of territory that the rebels have been able to gain and we have been seeing advantage of -- we have been seeing evidence of that throughout northern syria where we have been traveling, mainly in the providence of aleppo. talking about the rebels downing a fighter jet. we were on the scene of that yesterday. seeing civilians, young and old, going through the wreckage. claiming this to be a major victory as the rebel fighters themselves were. the reason why they were able to bring down that fighter jet and two helicopters before that is because they managed to overrun a massive military base where they were able to get their hands on surface to air missiles and driving throughout aleppo
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province, what we are seeing is vast swaths of territory and towns where two months ago you could not drive through fully under the control of government and then the scenes of fierce clashes between government and rebel forces and now we're beginning to see civilians return to them because they're that confident of the foothold that the opposition forces have in them right now, don. >> arwa, can i talk to you about this unprecedented internet blackout across syria? any idea who's behind it and why? >> reporter: the activists are blaming the government for this saying that this is one of the tactics employed regularly throughout the uprising and one this massive is unpress departmented if it's as big as it is being reported to be. they say that that is government's way of trying to prevent activists of communicating, prevent them from uploading the youtube videos and preventing the rebel fighting
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units from communicating and especially over long great distances. the government for its part, though, is as it always has been blaming terrorists for the blackout and saying that it is working on the problem. don? >> all right. arwa damon, thank you very much. we appreciate it. back here at home, they're known as conversion therapies. practices aimed to turn gay kids straight. one congresswoman calls it quackery and trying to ban it nationwide. we'll speak with her live, that's next. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company.
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and the homosexuality was controlling my life, every aspect of my life. now it's just like a random thought every other week or so and not necessarily an attraction for another person but a memory of the past most of the time. >> california's governor called it quackery because he is and he helped ban it which it should be. now the crackdown may go nationwide. yesterday, california congresswoman jackie spear announced a nonbinding resolution to encourage each state to make the same move that california did. it's called the shock revolution. shock is for stop harming our kids. some kids explain what the therapy did to them. >> i am telling my story now in hopes that others will speak out to put an end to this sham. the ex-gay industry did nothing but provide me and my family with false lies mass ka raiding as science.
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>> representative jackie spear joins me now live from capitol hill. congresswoman, thank you so much for joining us. my first question to you, why not just introduce legislation to ban it? why the nonbinding resolution? >> it is a state function to regulate professions, so it is incumbent on the states to look at the scope of practice within professions and determine whether certain practices are appropriate or not. the american psychological association and the american psychiatric association has said for more than 40 years that this is junk science. that there is no science that supports this conversion therapy or reparative therapy. so, this is an effort to put a spotlight on the issue and then from a federal point of view, i want to make sure that the taxpayer dollars aren't being spent on providing the services when they are not held to be scientifically effectively.
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>> okay, okay. we have got that. i want to hear more from young people at the news conference who went through conversion therapy. >> in conversion therapy, i was told that i was sick. i was told that i had to be fixed. i was told to snap myself with a rubber band every time i had a same-sex attraction. i was told that the reason for my problem was my close relationship with my mother who had been loving and supportive of me. i was diagnosed with clinical depression after i began my sessions with jonah. >> okay. so outlawing for minors. that's what your legislation proposes. why not for all people? >> well, i think as people mature, they have the opportunity to explore lots of different things. but it is the minors that are, you know, easily impacted in a way that can be very harmful to them. i mean, what we didn't hear in the clip is the young man actually stripped naked and was
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told to hold his genitalia and to be comfortable with it. i mean, there are some truly damaging and harmful activities that these so-called therapists engage in with these young people and there's so science to back it up. >> yeah. so i'm going to play devil's advocate here. you heard how some people believe it works for them. so what do you say to those people? >> well, i say to those people that they should look at the science first and foremost and, you know, being gay or a lesbian or a transgender is not a meantal illness that can be treated or a disease that can be cured and i think that for those who suggest that they have a therapy to do that is just -- it's just wrong and it has such a harmful effect on these young people who then go in to depression and suffer serious
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complications. >> yeah. congresswoman, again, we appreciate your time. >> thank you. this weekend is our annual tribute to cnn heroes. every day folks who impacted thousands of folks like susan burton who helped women find their way after prison and drug addiction. meet her next. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time,
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and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
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talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to to learn about a free trial offer. every day people who are changing the world. they will be honored sunday night at the cnn heroes all-star tribu tribute. the annual event saluting the top ten heroes of the year like susan burton who spent years addicted to drugs while in prison. now, she's helping hundreds of other women shake off a life of crime and reunite with their children. joining us now live from los angeles, hello, ladies. kareen, let's hear about susan's amazing work. >> her amazing work, indeed. we are here with susan burton
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here where the big show will take place monday. the countdown is definitely on. thank you so much for joining us. one of our alums of 2010. >> yes. thank you. it's my pleasure to join you here. being selected as a top ten cnn hero was one of the most fantastic parts of my career and moments in my life. since becoming a hero, my organization and life has just been just taken off. i remember when we were in the top ten voting stage of being selected as a hero and i received e-mails from all over the -- >> international correspondence. iraq. >> iraq. >> imagine that. >> australia, london. people within the states, you know, wanting to create something similar to what i did with the new way of life. >> you know, your life is
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definitely changed since being one of the top ten heroes. you attended last year and absolutely front and center again this year. >> yes, i will. >> why the need to create an organization? perhaps to give people a fresh start and -- >> hope. >> who have been incarcerated. >> yes. people need hope. and when they see that there's somewhere to go, someone who will help them make that transition back to the community, it gives hope and ability to actually come and stay in a home, stay in a place where you can be nurtured and supported to rebuild your lives. >> susan, you have been expanding on that notion since that exclusive club of cnn heroes and honored. >> yes. >> looking forward to sunday. the excitement's building behind us. the honorees and walking in your shoes. what advice do you have for them leading up to the big day? >> i want to tell them that their lives will be changed forever. becoming a cnn hero, a world
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hero, is a life-changing adventure. and my life has become this wild adventure. i go everywhere and i'm so respected. >> yes. >> and you continue to inspire us and inspire the women you help every day, the women incarcerated, the children even so. these are the type of stories to hear on sunday. you won't want to miss a minute of cnn heroes, an all-star tribute hosted by anderson cooper. it will start at 9:00 p.m. eastern on sunday again. a remarkable, remarkable show ahead for everyone. don? >> absolutely. and what incredible people and we look forward to hearing from them every single year. thank you both. make sure you tune in sunday night 9:00 eastern for "cnn heroes" hosted by anderson cooper from los angeles. it is an evening that's sure, sure to inspire. a big money saver for millions of americans could be on the chopping block.
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we are talking about the mortgage interest deduction. up next, why lawmakers may trim this popular tax break. ♪ ♪ [ female announcer ] pop in a whole new kind of clean. with tide pods. a powerful three-in-one detergent that cleans. brightens. and fights stains just one removes more stains than the 6 next leading pacs combined pop in. stand out.
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millions of u.s. homeowners could get a financial hit if the fiscal cliff negotiations tweak a popular tax break. if the negotiators do that, the mortgage interest deduction could be on the table at those talks. christine romans has more now. >> reporter: don, the middle class's most cherished tax break could be in the cross hairs of
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negotiations. government spending on this will reach $100 billion by 2014 making it the third largest tax break on the books. who does it help? 41 million people. the most recent irs data shows 41 million people claimed this deduction on their 2010 tax returns. the tax return policy center says it tends to benefit upper middle class families the most. for those with annual incomes of less than $40,000, their savings about $91. or $5,500. this benefits people most on both coasts and cities like chicago with higher property prices. watching the fiscal cliff negotiations closely for what could happen next to the tax goody next year. don? >> christine, thank you very much. okay. the fiscal cliff, you have heard vague warnings. let's get specific about it. your child's school may have to fire teachers and educational
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opportunities could diminish. 200,000 children could be dropped from the head start program. carl azus is tracking this. when's on the line for schools nationwide? >> don, you have to look at how schools have felt the pain of the recession and not recovered from it. i mean, some of the things you have menlgsed have happened. we have seen teachers down sized. laid off. in some cases bought off. we have seen class sizes swell. activities cut and now what schools are faced with is additional cuts on top of that. talking about an excess of $4 billion. and the way that math works out is for every 300,000 -- excuse me, for every 5,000 students in a district, roughly $300,000 cut on average. that would put funding levels back to where they were before 2003. some people may say, okay. ten years ago, not really a big deal. there are 5.4 million more students today than in 2003. costs have gone up 25% according
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to the national education association. so they're going to feel it. when you mentioned more specifics, we are talking about some of the programs that teachers have in the summer. they might be getting certified, up to date on the latest teaching methods. those would be on the chopping block. sports, extracurricular activities for students. those could be on the chopping block. teacher staffs and salaries even more so. and then textbook and technology programs, don, when we were in school, pluto was a planet and that's not the case. they have to have updated textbooks and could be on the chopping block for schools nationwide. >> carl, i'm 21 years old. i have no idea what you're talking about. >> when old timers like me were in school that's how it was. >> can you clear this up? do schools feel the pain immediately? it's slashed in january without a deal? >> some of the programs you mentioned, head start program and aiming for early childhood education assistance, parents up to speed on children's
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education, new trigs and all that, those would be cut immediately and some title i schools, schools with a greater proportion of poorer students, they would immediately lose their funding. for most schools nationwide, they have done their budgets for the 2012-2013 school year and that's right now and looking at budgets for 2013-2014 school year and not plan. they doan know how much money they will have, how much deeper in the empty pockets they're going to have to reach and so those are the challenges and the toug tough decisions they have to face. they can't plan right now, don. >> thank you. appreciate it. up next, president obama face to face with a guy that tried to take his job. we are learning more about the closed-door meeting between the president and mitt romney. plus, we're following breaking news out of syria right now where the internet is out and fighting over the airport in damascus escalating right now. i have a cold, and i took nyquil,
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whoever said it doesn't rain in southern california couldn't be more wrong. this sums it up. slippery, wet. there's other problems hitting california right now. wind, high winds, as a matter of fact. northern california bracing for floods. let's bring in meteorologist alexandra steele. this is just the beginning of when's expected to be a series of intense, powerful storms. >> absolutely. this is the tip of the iceberg. 100-mile-per-hour wind gusts in washington and oregon. the system will ramp up and the peak of it over the weekend. storm totals, again, only so far with the system. about a foot of rain in oregon through california, 6 and 7 inches of rain. and the problem with this system is that it's a warm system so we're not going do see snow even at the highest elevations above 8,000 feet. snow. but when you get rain that high in the mountain this is's when the flooding occurs. this is the current radar. a lot of rain but seeing when's behind this, that's when the system really has energy and so
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much potential energy. wave one moved through yesterday. wave two, today and tomorrow. the most potent of all of these three waves from the coast and on to the northwest will be wave three and that's through the weekend, saturday and sunday and again because it's so warm, at the highest elevations above 8,000 feet we will see a few inches and a few feet of rain but what we're going to see is ten inches of rain potentially. so don, flooding with this is really huge, especially through the weekend. >> thank you. >> thank you. hello, everyone. top of the hour. i'm don lemon live from new york city. right now, a developments pouring in involving the urgent situation inside syria. first the internet goes dark and now a fight at the airport in damascus. an actist said the rebels are closing in on bashar al assad and the end game is near.
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we'll show you when's happening on the ground soon. but first, news right now from the white house on the effort to avert the new year's tax hike and a host of other painful measures to trim the national debt. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin learned details of the phone conversation between the president and house speaker john boehner. jessica, what did the president tell john boehner and why is this so important right now? >> reporter: don, both sides trying to come to an agreement and the phone call last night about 30 minutes the president said to speaker boehner that there will be no deal unless the speaker and republicans agree to let rates go up for the top 2% of earners. now, this is what the president campaigned on so it might not sound so surprising or newsy but the reason it's meaningful is because there's a lot of talk in this town to raise money for the tax deal is by expanding the tax base through tax reform or closing deductions. and that in itself could take
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the place of raising rates and what we're understanding is that the president and the white house making it clear that raising rates is necessary. jay carney talked about it in the briefing today and allowed maybe flexibility on what that rate would be. but that's, you know, something of a red line. and for the speaker, he's insisting for the republicans part they have to talk spending cuts before anybody's going to agree to anything on exactly what the tax side will look like, don. >> they don't have much time so, we'll see. thank you, jessica yellin, we appreciate it. let's talk more about this and turning to former commerce secretary carlos gutierrez serving under president george w. bush. let's talk first about the business community and get the questions right. as i'm saying them i'm reading them. are they willing to absorb tax hike if there's the end all, be all to not go over the fiscal cliff? keeping that in mind, would that
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wreck havoc in the business community? >> yeah. i can't speak for all business leaders but generally speaking a tax hike, a rate increase is not good for the economy especially at this time. this process is very disappointing. after everything we have been through and after the cam pin and the election, it seems like it's still a same tactical political poker it's always been. and the problem here is the world is watching. and it's almost like our system is being tested. can these guys still -- can these folks, these people, the congress, can the system still solve problems? >> we're -- the system is being tested by the very people who are -- which is odd. >> i know. >> they don't have to test it. they don't have to test the system. they can come to agreement without testing the system or that close. >> they should be able to. right, right. what i'd want to do is a spirit of, boy, get this done and forget parties. think of the nation. >> yeah. >> you don't see that. now, what speaker boehner said is he's got a point. we talked about a balanced
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approach. republicans are saying let's do revenues and let's count up the numbers. and there haven't been expenses brought forward by the democrats and i don't understand that so is it a game of chicken and really serious about solving this? >> talk about the influence, especially the titans of business or paid lobbyists. do you think they have influence and contact now with the president and also with john boehner? we are talking trillions and trillions of dollars here. how much of influence if any do you think they have? >> i hope -- you know, i think the president, speaker boen, they listen and listen well. and i hope a lot of people are talking. you know, the one thing the business community must have a very interesting point on view on is the process. we are talking about trillions of dollars. taxes going up. taxes going up on the affordable care act. billions of dollars of taxes and fees. what's the four-year view look like? what's the plan look like? so let's look at the numbers.
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how much do we get from deductions? how much do we get from expenditures? how much more do we need? how much does obama care add? what is our growth rate? you know, we don't have a plan. >> yeah. >> and we're throwing these dollar numbers around like if they were nothing. >> i spoke with james clyburn, representative clyburn last hour, about the notion of raising tax rates on the wealthy and not where the president wants them. he said i want it higher. take a listen and then talk about it. >> we know where the president is. and that is 250,000. but there are a lot of democrats who voiced back before the campaign 500,000. some say even a million. all of that's going to be negotiated. the president wants 250. if mr. boehner wants to come and offer something different, i'm sure he'll do that but the president stands at 250. which is below even where i was but he won the election. >> do you think that's where the
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compromise is, have it at a higher rate, somewhere in there? >> i think what needs to happen is for the democrats to come forward with ideas for expenditures. because if not, what he's asking for is for speaker boehner to negotiate with himself. >> right. >> right? >> i'm glad you said that. yes. >> yeah. so and it's interesting. we are all talking only about revenues. we should be talking about how to grow and that's revenues. >> cutting spending. >> cutting spending and then a balanced approach. >> yeah. good stuff. thank you for coming in. >> a pleasure. >> thank you so much. president obama makes good on an election night promise meeting with mitt romney for lunch at the white house. this was their first face to face meeting since their bruising presidential campaign and it was strictly a no-cameras, no-reporters affair. you like to be a fly on that wall for that meeting. blink and you miss this. our cameras caught a brief glimpse of romney arriving at the white house minutes before the lunch was scheduled to begin and here he is leaving about an hour and 15 minutes later.
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lasted that long. as for what was discussed, no word yet from romney nor from the white house. >> a former president in the hospital today and we're now hearing when george h.w. bush might get out. but up next, an internet blackout. a crucial fight right under way now in syria. i'll speak live with someone who just returned from there and saying the developments could signal the end game for bashar al assad. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪
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in syria, damascus international airport shut down. fierce fighting closed the main road to the airport. flights in and out canceled. these clashes happening as the internet goes dark. syria with a nationwide blackout. a syrian military jet and two helicopters were shot down by rebels. they used surface to air missiles seized when rebels seized a key base last week. i want to bring in a strategist for the syrian-american counsel. mohammed, you just got back from syria meeting with the free syrian army. you say we're nearing an end game. why is that? >> the fsa, the main armed opposition in syria is closing
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in on assad and the capital and tightening the noose around assad's neck so this is a map and it -- this map provided by the say sad regime, by the way. the areas in red as you can see under the control of the free syrian army. the armies in blue are contested and green are under the control of assad. as you can see, the areas under assad are shrinking and the fsa, that's the free syrian army, the main armed opposition is gaining ground and assad is alarmed by that and the internet shut down today. i touched base with activists this morning in damascus and concerned the regime might be readying itself to take measured action to keep the fsa at bay. they said it's not that assad would not commit massacres in broad daylight and have been for 20 months but that they're worried about larger scale action. >> okay. so let's get in here, okay, and
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ask you this? here's what you write. you said the united states commitment to aiding the syrian opposition against the brutal assad regime has been one of words and few deeds. so, you're calling for the u.s. to do more. what do you make of the suggestion that the u.s. should provide arms to these opposition fighters? >> in fact, like we have always called on the united states of america to help the free syria army with anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons so that they can fend off assad's aerial attacks because the daily death toll in syria climbed past 200 however, but now there are other thing that is the u.s. is not doing that our european partners are doing so for example the british and the french recognized the national coalition that formed in daha and there is already an embassy
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in france and london and they need to recognize the coalition and to funnel the support that the u.s. has given through the national coalition. when i was in syria, 65% of the country is not under the control of assad. in those areas liberated, people are coming together, they're forming local administrative counsels for basic assistance, goods and services, trying to enhance the rule of law in the localities and severely underfurnded. what needs to happen for the u.s. instead of going through third party organizations such as the world food program and save the children that aid needs to go through the counsels. >> real quickly here. what do you make of the unprecedented internet blackout? >> as i told you, the activists are concerned assad regime is readying itself for larger massacres at a large scale to keep the fsa that's closing in on the capital and making advances as i showed you on the map at bay. >> doing that and by shutting
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down the internet they're doing it so the other side can't make any plans or -- >> get the word out about atrocities taking place, yes. >> thank you. we appreciate it. >> thank you. for celebrities -- from celebrities to crime victims to the royal family, british tabloids accused of hacking in to private conversations. find out who could soon track the hackers. that's one smart board. what else does it do, reverse gravity? [ laughs ] [ laughs ] [ whooshing ] tell me about it. why am i not going anywhere? you don't believe hard enough. a smarter way to shop around. now that's progressive. call or click today. [ grunting ] part of a whole new line of tablets from dell. it's changing the conversation.
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developing right now, former president h.w. bush recovering after a bout with bronchitis and told he's been there for six days now and still suffering from a lingering cough. a spokesman says the 88-year-old former president should be discharged by this weekend. the british press tapping in to the private phone calls of celebrities, the victims of crime, and even the royal family. the scandal saw the demise of "news of the world." now the findings of a yearlong investigation calling for independent eyes to watch over the tabloids and already
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criticized. her's british prime minister david cam reason. >> i have some serious concerns and misgivings on this recommendation. we should i believe wary of legislation with the potential to infringe free speech and a free speech. >> the proposed panel of academics and former journalists. palestinians are celebrating what the united nations is supposed to approve very soon making palestine a nonu.n. observer state. live pictures of the u.n. there on the screen to the right. the upgrade in status would place palestine at the same level as the vatican and help the effort to join the criminal court. the united states does not approve fearing it would inhibit peace negotiations with israel. a tense hosz taj situation on tv and an anchor called in to help negotiate. why he now regrets helping out. that's next.
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okay. a tv anchor turns in the a hostage negotiator? police call the brazilian tv host while he was on the air last night hosting his crime show. rafael romo joins me from atlanta. i have never heard anything like this. tell us about the hostage situation an why the tv host got involved. >> don, it is a case that strikes right at the heart of journalism ethics. should we as journalists be allowed to act as negotiators in a hostage situation? you are looking at the images here. a house was surrounded by police after a call came in that a man had two hostages in that house. and the man demanded to talk to this man, joseph. he is a famous tv host in brazil. he anchors a show called urgent brazil. it deals with crime and police issues and the suspect wanted to talk to him. he spoke with him for about 20
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minutes at the end of which he was successful, you saw the two women there, the suspect's mother and sister were successfully liberated. nobody was harmed. but again, a lot of criticism and questions about the role of journalists in brazil, don. >> rafael, even from him, i mean, he regrets it. right? >> that's exactly right. he was interviewed after this episode and asked why he thought about the role he had played and he says that journalists should never play that role and that he regrets it and didn't realize the seriousness, the gravity of the situation until he had already taken the call of the suspect live on the air. can you imagine that? if we got a call right now and live on the air national tv and hearing from a suspect who has two hostages? i mean, it's just an incredible situation he had to go through. >> unbelievable. raphael, thank you, sir.
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all right. let's go "on the case yts now. hearing from the army private accused of leaking the government sekrets on the internet for all to see. bradley manning allegedly stole thousands of classified documents and gave them to the website wikileaks. manning is on the witness stond at a pretrial hearing at fort meade, maryland, testifying about the treatment while he was in the brig at quantico marine base. sunny hostin is here. sunny, this is the first time hearing from manning. what was his demeanor testifying? >> spoke in a clear, calm voice, dressed in the army uniform. he had his sort of signature wire rimmed glasses on. that is what you want to see when you have a witness on the witness stand. we saw probably just a model witness today. >> okay. what is the way he was treated have anything to do with the
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charges against him? >> that's the question. and his defense team is saying, you know what? he was abused so terribly during his time in prison that he should get a reduced sentence. it should be time served and i will tell you having reviewed what allegedly are the facts in the case, don, it was e agree jous. he was initially put in sort of a security, under security watch but he was never removed really from that status. he was forced to leave the cell apparently completely naked and questioned every five minutes of how he was feeling and the facts under many circumstances considered abuse and torture. >> people are skeptical thinking it's a tactic to get a reduced sentence or the charges dropped? >> people are skeptical but the defense team said they want him to plead guilty to a lesser charge that's not necessarily filed yet because he's looking at significant time. i mean, if convicted looking at life in prison. if he pleads guilty to the
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lesser charges we are talking about max of 16 years in prison, dishonorable discharge. that looks better than life in prison. >> it's quite a profound case. >> it really is. when you leak allegedly these sorts of documents and we all get to see them, these national security documents on the internet, that's significant and that can be seen as a threat to the security and something we're all watching now in the digital age. right? >> right. absolutely. always a pleasure when i get to see you. >> wikwise. you are here in new york. look at this. >> thank you. we appreciate it. >> thanks. something just in from the white house releasing a statement about the lunch of president obama and mitt romney. we even have a picture now. take a look. and here's the statement to read it right along with me because i have not seen it yet. this afternoon, president obama and governor romney visited for an hour over lunch in the private dining room adjacent to the oval office. governor romney congratulated the president for the success of the campaign and wished him well over the coming four years. the focus of the discussion was on america's leadership in the
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world and the importance of maintaining that leadership position in the future. they pledged to stay in touch, particularly if opportunities to work together on shared interests arise in the future. their lunch menu included white turkey chili and southwestern grilled chicken salad. >> sounds good. >> sounds good. but wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall? >> i wish. i wish. >> yeah. what you talking about, willis? what about you? you called me this. >> so contentious. >> oh well. forget what the fiscal cliff will do. one group says we're already in a recession. aly velshi has some thoughts live next. plash with the employ. [ duck yelling ] [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ♪ ha ha!
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i'm ali velshi and this is "your money." today, are we in a recession? i mean, times are tough but come on. consumer confidence is up. americans are spending more money in the holiday season and
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if congress doesn't push the country over a fiscal cliff we're likely headed for more economic growth. right? one of the best economic forecasters around says not only is the u.s. economy headed for a recession with or without the fiscal cliff, he says we're already in one. listen to what the person of the cycle research institute told me today. >> the recession has started. we are a few months in to it. and i think if you wanted to argue against me, i would point to jobs, jobs are still growing but looking at the last seven recessions in three of them, jobs continued to grow in to the recession. >> his group bases this on four economic indicators. let me show you. industrial production, that's all the stuff, top left, all the stuff made in the u.s. personal income, you know what that is, sales and employment. look at those lines. based on official government
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data this year they show a drop off in three of the four indicators starting in july. only employment is steady. that's july. that means we're in a recession right now. may sound obvious to some of you or ridiculous to others but when it comes to determining recessions, few have a better track record than ecri. back in 2001, the group predicted a recession when the vast majority of economists said it couldn't be true. they were right. in 2006, ecri predicted the housing boom ended while others out t touted and then the worst global recession in years. that was in august. a month before the collapse of lehman brothers set off the global financial crisis and ecri predicted when the u.s. would come out of that recession. here's the weird part. just today, we got a revised number for gdp, gross domestic product third quarter of this
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year showing the u.s. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.7% in the third quarter. that is much higher than the 2% the government originally estimated. gross domestic product isn't perfect but for now the broadest measure we have got. the government says the economy grew more in the summer months right when ecri says things began to fall off. what gives? take a look at growth since the last recession. it's been a roller coaster for this economy. but if you go by what the government is telling us, things should be looking up but everyone including ecri agree that going over the fiscal cliff would make things worse and brings me to the next topic. sequestration. a stupid name for a stupid thing. more then a year ago, both the president and congress made a deal with the devil after both parties felt no shame in taking america to the brink over raising the debt ceiling. so-called compromise back then was that if not negotiate a debt
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reduction deal, cuts happen across the board. this is not the whole fiscal cliff but just the sequester. $1.2 trillion of mandatory spending cuts over ten years and scheduled for january 2nd. half of that money cut in defense. half in everything else. next year alone could take $65 billion out of spending and a million jobs versus growing 2 million which is what the u.s. is on track to do now. i fully understand the government needs to spend less and spend more efficiently but how you achieve it is as important as how much you cut and the sledge hammer approach is not economically sound. now, there are targeted and measured ways to do it without driving the country in to another recession. some debate today as to whether we're in one or not but the sequester will only make things worse. congress, solve it. solve it nowme.
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we're all watching. housing is hot. if you have credit and money for a down payment, the perfect time to buy. nationally, affordability is the best it's been in a long time. new york city is the least affordable place in america to purchase a home. no big surprise here. home prices in new york are nearly two and a half times the average median home price. other expensive places san francisco, los angeles, honolulu. west texas town of el paso. tenth least affordable because home prices are high compared to median income which is how affordability is calculated. many of these people don't earn much higher than the min yum wage and a third of the homes on marketen affordable to them. median income in el paso lower
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developing right now in syria, damascus international airport is shut down. flights in and out canceled. fierce fighting closing off the main road to the airport. these clashes happening as a country's internet goes dark and cell phone communication drops out. it's harder to post videos like this one showing shelling in aleppo. uploaded earlier today. in the past, the syrian government cut off access in major operations but a nationwide blackout is unprecedented. all this as a syrian military jet and two helicopters were shot down by rebels. takeovers at military bases have given them a new arsenal of heavy weaponry. this attack they used rockets.
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cnn's arwa damon reports rebels are claiming this as a major victory. >> reporter: children on the back of a tractor make off with a sizable tangled lump of metal. what was all too often the cause of nightmares now a trophy of war. proudly shown off by this man. we want to take these pieces to show them to the other villages, he says. let them see what happened to these planes. everyone we speak to here describes the fear they felt any time they heard a jet overhead. for them, this is the greatest victory. one man who we spoke to said he was picking olives, that he saw the plane being hit and that the two pilots ejecting. he says at that point everyone fanned out looking for them. he and others tell us one pilot was found unconscious with a head injury. video posted to youtube shows a man in military uniform
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seemingly unconscious being carried away. as a man offcamera states, here is the pilot who was shelling the houses of civilians. another clip is of him in a makeshift field clinic head bandages, a voice says, this is the fate of your pilots bay shar al assad. this is not an isolated incident. in the same vicinity close to a city in the span of 24 hours rebels claim they not only brought down this fighter jet but also two helicopters. video posted to youtube shows a trail of smoke and a helicopter bursting in to flames. but there's no way for us to confirm when and where this happened. these dramatic developments are a result of a pitched battle fought here at the 46 regiment base just over a week ago. for nearly two weeks hassan
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tells us they laid siege to the base. after clearing the villages around it of assad's forces and positioning rebel snipers in the area. the final battle to take this massive base lasted 24 hours. rebel fighters used artillery they captured of another unit on the base. firing it in to the building and ending the battle. for this rebel unit, there was a treasure trove of weaponry. and most important of all, anti-aircraft missiles. hundreds of them. though not all functioning, the fighters tell us. video posted to youtube right after the assault took place shows stacks of metal boxes packed with soviet era anti-aircraft missiles. the regime still has the military advantage thanks to the sheer size of its arsenal. but the balance it seems may have ever so slightly shifted. arwa damon, cnn, aleppo province. >> thank you, arwa.
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any minute history expected to be made at the united nations. palestinians on the verge of gaining a new status at the u.n. but the u.s. isn't so happy about this one. we'll take you there live next. ♪ ♪ ...could end with adding a close friend. ♪ the lexus december to remember sales event is on, offering some of our best values of the year. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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u. (voting at this hour on whether to make palestine a nonmember observer state. just a latest chapter in the effort to become a status. >> reporter: the final rally before heading to new york. palestinian president abbas addressing supporters in ramallah. the final decision to head to the united nations tomorrow he says to enhance the position of palestine to an observer state in the united nations and it is the first step to achieve all our national palestinian rights. if the palestinians win a majority in the u.n. general assembly the u.n. will recognize
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palestine as a nonmember observer state like the vatican, the territory to include the west bank, gaza and east jerusalem. >> for the world to begin to rectify a grave historical injustice that the palestinians had undergone beginning with the creation of the state of israel in 1948. >> reporter: some observers think abbas needs the u.n. vote to regain authority among palestinians. while the west bank remained quiet, the islamist hamas which controls gaza exchanged fire with israel this month. shooting hundreds of missiles in to israeli territory in a week of conflict. while many here believe that going to the u.n. could be a first step to palestinian statehood, the united states has warned the palestinian authority going to the united nations could thwart any chances of negotiations for two-state solution. last year, a bid for full statehood at the u.n. ran in to u.s. opposition. israel threatened a strong
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response should the palestinians seek full statehood. everything from withholding tax revenues to annex xags of land of settlements on the tibl. >> we think this is a mistake. it's political theater. the palestinians can get a piece of paper of the united nations but they're not going to get a state. palestinian statehood only achieved through negotiations with israel. >> reporter: but the palestinians might try to use their new status to bring israeli leaders in front of the international criminal court for war crimes they believe israel committed in pastz military operations. the palestinian bid for recognition might be a largely symbolic move but it it could all also define the relationship of israel and the palestinians. fred pleitgen, cnn, ramallah. palestinian president national authority abbas speaking. let's in. >> translator: to live ordinary life and to live in freedom and peace.
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palestine comes together to the general assembly because it believes in peace and because its people has proven in past days are in desperate need of it. palestine comes today to this prestigious international forum representative and protector of international legitimacy reaffirming our conviction gnat international community now stands before the last chance to save the two-state solution. palestine comes to you today at a defining moment regionally and internationally in order to reaffirm its presence and to try to protect the possibilities and the foundations of a just peace
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that is deeply hoped for in our region. mr. president, ladies and gentlemen. the israeli aggression against our people in the gaza strip has confirmed once again the urgent and pressing need to end israeli occupation and for people to gain their freedom and independence. this aggression also confirms the israeli government's adherence to policy of brute force and war. which in turn obliges the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards the palestinian people and towards peace. >> okay. that is mahmoud abbas speaking at the u.n. richard's our senior united nations correspondent.
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richard, i would imagine since abbas is speaking now, the vote has not taken place. >> the vote's not taken place. there will be some more speeches. this is the u.n. and then the vote will occur and widely expected the palestinians get this upgraded enhanced title at the u.n. bringing them closer to full statehood, the word state init, but they don't have all the rights of being a state. it's a bit of a step down to what the president abbas who continues to speak now what he wanted last year, but u.s. opposition stopped that in the security council. so it's a big day, don. >> you're right, richard. elise, why is the united states against palestine becoming a nonmember observer state? >> don, because they feel that it's really not going to get the palestinians what they want, which is an actual state. this is as richard has been saying a largely symbolic vote. it doesn't do anything for palestinian borders, for palestinian sovereignty. all of the things that the u.s. says needs to be done at the
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peace table with israel. >> all right. elise labott and richard roth, thanks to both of you. we'll be right back. ♪ we were skipping stones and letting go ♪ [ female announcer ] nature valley granola bars, rich dark chocolate, toasted oats. perfect combinations of nature's delicious ingredients, from nature valley. ♪ nature valley granola bars, nature at its most delicious. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future.
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liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? just a reminder of what's happening right now. palestinians are celebrating what the united nations are supposed to approve making palestine a non-u.n. member state. the upgrade in status would place palestine at the same level as the vatican and help palestine's effort to join the international criminal court. the united states has not approved fearing it would inhibit peace negotiations with israel. updates here on cnn as we get them. in egypt today demonstrations in cairo's tahrir square prompted the u.s. to shut down its embassy. it was not under fire, but clashes between protesters and riot police clogged streets. this kind of chaos has been
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going on for days now as demonstrators threaten egypt's new islamic president mohamed morsi with a second revolution. with all this going on president morsi is on the cover of "time" magazine. last hour i talked with one of the reporters who talked with morsi in this exclusive interview. and i asked carl vick why "time" is calling him the most porpt man in the middle east. >> one, he's sort of central to what they call a new sunni access these counts a counterweight to iran emerging thinking of qatar in the gulf and turkey certainly. and egypt has always been the largest most populous arab country, it's always been sort of the anchor. if you're the president of egypt, by default you probably should be the most important person in the middle east. right now the circumstances also are favoring morsi. and the other reason is because he holds the sort of future of
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egypt in his hands right now and of the revolution with what he does in the coming couple of months. >> uh-huh. and another new development to tell you about today. egyptian lawmakers dominated by islamists are now rushing to draft a new constitution. this move is seen by some of morsi's critics as an effort by the muslim brotherhood to hijack the constitution and egypt's butting push for democracy. there's a slaughter happening along the coast of the united states in the gulf of mexico to be specific. someone is brutally killing dolphins, those gentle mammals that don't fear man. the area is a major dolphin birthing area putting newborns at risk. cnn's ed lavandera takes us to the mississippi gulf coast. and a warning for you, you may find some of the pictures very disturbing. >> reporter: to reach the crime scenes, you need to catch a ride and take a guide. this island we see off to our left this is deer island where you found two of them?
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>> that's correct. >> reporter: a harrison county mississippi sheriff's chopper and the lead biologist from the institute for marine mammal studies. they took us to the sites where the dolphins mysteriously appeared up. >> how many have turned up so far? >> we've been dealing with about six or seven. we know that there's three or four of them found dead with bullets. and the other ones mutilated. some with their tails cut off, jaws cut off or a screwdriver in them. >> reporter: he performed the necropsies or autopsies of all the murdered dolphins. what do you take away from that? what does it tell you? >> i think it's kind of a sick ritual of some sort. >> reporter: so someone kind of getting a thrill out of doing this? >> i guess any other reason than a horrific act to do something like that, i don't know. >> reporter: the pictures of the mutilated dolphins are
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disturbing to look at. the bodies clearly show signs of attack, bullet wounds in parts of the dolphins cut off. some too gruesome to show here. do you think this is a situation where you have a serial killer of dolphins? >> it looks like we have a deranged person that is out there doing something cruel, repugnant and senseless. >> reporter: federal investigators say they don't know if the murders are the work of one dolphin killer or all unrelated. in the wild it's easy for a killer to lure in dolphins. kathrine burton trains dolphins at the institute for marine mammal studies. >> they are very curious. and i think by getting fed -- >> you mean in the wild? >> yes. they will get fairly close. >> they can get themselves in a bad situation just unsuspecting. >> right. i think sometimes they get close without realizing they're going to be in any kind of danger. >> reporter: that's why it's actually illegal to feed dolphins in the wild. so this is ship island where one of the dolphins was found?
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rusty is an officer with mississippi's department of marine resources, one of the agencies patrolling these waters. >> i've never seen come up on a dolphin that's been shot. >> reporter: it seems so much more difficult to investigate something like this. you know, if you have a murder of humans, the crime -- you have evidence. there's a crime scene. >> this you don't have. >> reporter: this crime scene is huge. >> they do on the first dolphin that was recovered they do have the bullet, they did recover the bullet. how much that will help i don't know. but like you said, so much area through here. this is totally different than a crime scene involving -- >> reporter: this part of the gulf coast is home to the largest population of dolphins anywhere in the united states as many as 5,000. in the next few months females will move in to give birth. and he fears baby calves could be the next victims. >> this is gruesome really if it's somebody who is deranged, he's not going to stop. >> reporter: the race is onto catch a dolphin killer before he stri
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